Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bounce v.1

1. (later use Aus.) of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

[[UK]Skelton Dyvers Balettys and Dyties Solacyous ii 15: Wyth bound and rebound, bounsyngly take up Hys jentyll curtoyl, and set nowght by small naggys].
[UK]Fletcher Mad Lover I i: We can bounce [...] and frisk too.
[UK]Fletcher Pilgrim II ii: Has he no Sisters? Have you not been bouncing About their belly-pieces?
[UK]T. Duffet Mock-Tempest V i: Her thing is her own, and I’le bounce it anon.
[UK] ‘On Several Women about Town’ in Wilson Court Satires of the Restoration (1976) 33–4: There was a bouncing widow […] [and] a bonny young maid […] A lusty young fellow they’d each of them got, / That trounced ’em and bounced ’em until they were hot, / Then took ’em aside to do I know not what.
[US]W. Guthrie Seeds of Man (1995) 251: I’d like ta bounce yore little fanny aroun’ on this grass.
[US]G.L. Coon Meanwhile, Back at the Front (1962) 216: ‘Did she bounce in the bunker?’ ‘General,’ Riley said, licking his lips and looking dreamy, ‘did you ever step on a land mine?’.
[Aus]B. Moore Lex. of Cadet Lang. 55: usage: ‘She and I — well, I bounced her last night.’.
[US]G. Tate Midnight Lightning 97: The whole emotional only-child turmoil of a father-done-bounced and my mother.

2. (US) to persuade, to influence by flattery.

[UK]Fletcher Night-Walker Act IV: She’s up to’th eares in Law; I doe so whirle her to the Counsellors chambers, And back againe, and bounce her for more money.
[UK]H. Walpole 3 May Letters II (1891) 152: The Lords had four tickets a-piece, and each Commoner at first but two, till the Speaker bounced, and obtained a third.
[UK] ‘The Rake’s Register’ Bang-Up Songster 23: At twenty-two I was quite hard up. / So I was forced to bounce them.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 61: The shiser thinks to bounce us by flashing a shofel quid.
Lord Palmerston He is a Clever Man [ballad] And they won’t bounce Jack Temple / Out of thirty thousand pounds.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 July 6/3: The other, attired as a woman, saw the startled female person to a cab, drove her to his office, and there bounced her into signing a confession.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 89: If he can bounce this little army he deserves a seat.
[US]Randolph & Pingry ‘Kansas University Sl.’ in AS III:3 218: Bounce, v. — To influence by cajolery or flattery.

3. to boast, to brag, to bully, to scold, to intimidate; thus bouncing n.

[UK]A. Wilson Inconstant Ladie IV ii: I do not like that skirtfoist. Leave your bouncing!
[UK]Head Nugae Venales 253: She had learn’d to bounce and huff with any Bully-Ruffin in the Strand, Holborn, or Covent-Garden.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]N. Ward London Spy XVII 435: He Lies and tells his Bloody Feats, And Bounces like a Bully.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy III 239: All these may Prate, and Talk much, / Show Tricks, and Bounce, and Crack.
[UK]New Canting Dict.
[Ire]H. Fitzcotton (trans.) Homer’s Iliad 27: But he must always bounce and hector, / And set up here for chief director.
[UK]G. Colman Polly Honeycombe 42: Nay, nay, Old Gentleman, no bouncing! — You’re mistaken in your man, sir!
[UK]Bridges Homer Travestie (1764) II 7: I value not a fig their bouncing, / They want a little of my trouncing.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 468: Let other people stop his flouncing, / Bold hector need not mind his bouncing.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) I 106: Now all, I find, was but a joke; / Your bouncing’s vanish’d into smoke.
[UK]B.H. Malkin (trans.) Adventures of Gil Blas (1822) II 195: We polished up the brass upon our foreheads a little. It was time now to bounce and swagger.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 228: bounce: to bully, threaten, talk loud, or affect great consequence; to bounce a person out of any thing, is to use threatening or high words, in order to intimidate him, and attain the object you are intent upon; or to obtain goods of a tradesman, by assuming the appearance of great respectability and importance, so as to remove any suspicion he might at first entertain. A thief, detected in the commission of a robbery, has been known by this sort of finesse, aided by a genteel appearance and polite manners, to persuade his accusers of his innocence, and not only to get off with a good grace, but induce them to apologize for their supposed mistake, and the affront put upon him. This masterstroke of effrontery is called giving it to ’em upon the bounce.
[UK]C.M. Westmacott Eng. Spy II 295: I don’t see the bee’s wing in this port, Mr. Blackstrap, that you are bouncing about.
[UK]Egan Bk of Sports 303: What others brag and bounce about, to him is only play.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 363: ‘Keep the tambourine a roulin’!’ exclaimed Pigg, who had been reining in his horse to hear his master bounce.
[Aus][A. Harris] (con. 1820s) Settlers & Convicts 347: He was notoriously a man who usually bounced his way through everything.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 26 Apr. 3/4: Two Cyprians [...] buncing that [...] ‘they wouldn’t go home till morning’.
[UK]H. Kingsley Recollections of G. Hamlyn (1891) 24: He’ll be drinking at all the places coming along to get his courage up to bounce me.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum 125: bounced. Frightened with stories of another’s prowess .
[Aus]J.F. Mortlock Experiences of a Convict (1965) 190: It is common enough falsely to recriminate with some counter-accusations, and so try to carry off the matter with a high hand, — the vulgar term to describe which mode of behaviour is called ‘Bounce’.
[US]W.H. Thomes Bushrangers 425: I’d serve you a trick that would repay me for all the sufferings I now endure. But Mad Dick’s time is almost up, and what’s the use of his bouncing?
[UK]Sporting Times 1 Mar. 7/2: The ‘pugilistic footman’ [...] what Mr A. Hutton bounces about .
[UK]W. Hooe Sharping London 34: Bounce, to frighten by lying.
[UK]J. Greenwood Tag, Rag & Co. 242: He needn’t bounce so much about it.
[UK]R. Whiteing No. 5 John Street 20: They’ll try and bounce yer into payin’ for advice if they can.
Burnely Exp. 29 June 7/7: You are fond of bouncing and bossing.
[Aus] ‘The Overlander’ ‘Banjo’ Paterson Old Bush Songs 120: I tried to coax, then bounce him, / But my tin I had to squander.
[Aus]Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW) 11 June n.p.: I am not in the habit of bouncing taxi drivers.
[Aus]Western Mail (Perth) 30 Nov. 2/1: Go light on this ’ere stagger juice. And don’t let ’em bounce yer. Specially M.P.’s and them sergeants.
[Aus]K. Tennant Joyful Condemned 226: As a rotund, solemn small boy he had been bounced by his sister Terry, by the Cobbett son Johnno, by old man Cobbett.
[Aus]J. Morrison Black Cargo 188: He come the bounce, I tell you. And I bounced him. He got snotty about a job I done.

4. to lie; thus bouncing n., lying.

[UK]Foote Lyar in Works (1799) I 294: If it had come to an oath, I don’t think he would have bounc’d. [Ibid.] 306: Could you not just give your humble servant a hint, when you are bent on bouncing.
[Ire]J. O’Keeffe Farmer 16: Must bounce a few, Betty’s so uppish – likely won’t have me else.
[UK]J. Reynolds Blind Bargain IV i: Somehow I be not much at home in deception and bouncing.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Coventry Eve. Teleg. 8 Oct. 2/2: Enough of Bounce [...] he German people are showing [...] hearty disdain at the boastful lies which they are still being uncreasingly fed in regard to their ‘successes’ in the war.

5. to rob, to cheat; thus bouncing n. and adj.

[UK]T. Morton School For Grown Children V iii: I’m not to be bounced out of my property.
[UK]H. Brandon Dict. of the Flash or Cant Lang. 161/2: To Bounce – cheat of one’s share.
[UK]Paul Pry 22 Jan. n.p.: Immediately you enter the house the doors are barred and barricaded to prevent your egress until you are robbed of everything in your possession; this they term ‘bouncing’.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor (1968) I 424/2: Buying rags they call it, but I call it bouncing people. [...] They goes into the by-courts in Windsor, because this bouncing caper wouldn’t do in the main drag.
[UK]Aberdeen Jrnl 22 June 7/3: [of a specific confidence trick] The pursuer [...] stated that he had about four years ago been convicted [...] of ‘selling purses,’ popularly known as ‘bouncing,’ and had been sent 30 days to prison.
[UK]Clarkson & Richardson Police! 321: Shoplifting ... Damper-drawing, bouncing.
[UK]Sporting Times 15 Mar. 2/2: We find [...] a disposition to help those who don’t know the ropes, and an absence of the continental ambition to bounce those who do.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Dec. 20/3: I shouldn’t so much mind if there was any truth in it, but to be bounced by a pair o’ plucked pigeons like them two chaps is a bit over the odds.
[UK]S. Selvon ‘Calypsonian’ Foreday Morning (1989) 143: It don’t take plenty to make a tief. All you have to do now is have a fellar catching his royal, and can’t get a work noway, and bam! By the time he make two rounds he bounce something somewhere.
[US]T. Piccirilli Fever Kill 65: You were both dirty and had the same idea to bounce the fifteen grand.

6. (also bounce out) to refuse admission or to throw out of a party, a place of entertainment, etc.

[[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Epistle to Boswell’ Works (1794) I 321: What though aginst thee porters bounce the door, And bid thee hunt for secrets there no more].
[US]St Louis Globe-Democrat 19 Jan. n.p.: If he had his ‘shooting-iron’ with him he would ‘croak the bloody sucker’ who ‘bounced’ him.
[US]Bartlett Dict. Americanisms (4th edn) 62: I daresn’t go in there; the bar-tender’s drunk, and I might get bounced.
[NZ]N.Z. Observer (Auckland) 29 Jan. 200/1: Thereupon each stalwart son of Great Britain arose in his might bounced ‘that ruffian’ very quickly.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Mar. 8/2: ‘Ladies and gentlemen [...] I cannot possibly proceed with the play until that ruffian has been removed.’ Thereupon each stalwart son of Great Britain arose in his might, and bounced that ‘ruffian’ very quickly.
[UK]Manchester Courier 16 Oct. 10/6: Get out o’ here, you big-mouthed sucker, or I’ll bounce you in a minute.
[US]Lantern (N.O.) 17 Sept. 3: Tommy Lyons got bounced out of a picnic.
[UK]Bird o’ Freedom 8 Jan. 5/3: The landlady would have bounced her long ago, if her brother didn’t happen to own the house.
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein’ Four Million (1915) 123: If it wasn’t for losin’ a boarder they’d have bounced me long ago.
[UK]Wodehouse ‘The Making of Mac’s’ Man with Two Left Feet 133: We hadn’t seen nothing of her at MacFarland’s since the night when Andy bounced her pal.
[US]Electrical Experimenter June 151/3: Why not find out if Johnson has been indulging promiscuously in the gentle sport of bouncing intoxicated gentry.
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Caesar (1932) 17: Let ’em alone, unless they get bad and start something, then bounce ’em.
[US]‘R. Scully’ Scarlet Pansy 158: The rules of etiquette were completely reversed, so much so that eventually the whole crowd was ‘bounced’.
[US]R. Chandler Big Sleep 85: She hates my guts. I bounced her out.
[UK]Wodehouse Mating Season 130: They stuck on like limpets long after any competent chucker-out would have bounced them.
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Men from the Boys (1967) 16: ‘All this — hotel business — must be rather tame for you, isn’t it, Marty?’ ‘Bounce a drunk now and then [...] That’s about it.’.
[US]J. Rechy City of Night 200: He almost collapsed at the Pirate’s Den [...] They had to bounce him out!
[US]Cab Calloway Of Minnie the Moocher and Me 103: Huey Long got bounced for trying to join the chorus line.
[US]L.K. Truscott IV Dress Gray (1979) 363: He’ll bounce you out of here on an honor violation.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 56: They got fresh with some women and were bounced by the bartender.
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 100: I wrote about gettin’ drunk and bounced from an Osmond Family concert.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 143: The drunk who literally bumped into Jesus gets bounced straight out.

7. to avoid, to get rid of a person.

[UK]F.W. Carew Autobiog. of a Gipsey 418: First he tried to bounce the old-’un, but Nat stuck to him like a tick.
[UK]Walsall Obs. 11 Nov. 2/4: ‘Bounced by the Military’. Substitution men sent into the Army.

8. (also bounce off, bounce out) to dismiss, usu. from a job.

[US]Congressional Record 10 Aug. 5403/1: Where are the soldiers of the Union army ...? Nearly all gone, a clean sweep; to use a phrase that I never heard before, although I am told it is common in some sections of the country, they are ‘bounced’ [DA].
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Jan. 5/1: A Baltimore preacher has been bounced for attending a circus.
[Aus]‘John Miller’ Workingman’s Paradise 290: In two or three weeks every girl who’d had anything to do with stirring the others up was bounced for something or other.
[US]Hawaiian Star (Honolulu) 28 May 7/3: Two New York Senators are bounced out for corruption, and they’ve got the deadwood on a dozen more.
[Aus]Broadford Courier (Brisbane) 14 Apr. 1/4: You do not ‘sack’ a man, you ‘bounce’ him.
[US]Broadway Brevities Dec 22: FEC bouncing me is a laugh. Your having made me stop advertising, is a scream.
[US](con. 1920s) Dos Passos Big Money in USA (1966) 796: Towards the end of July the foreman bounced him.
[US]O. Strange Sudden Takes the Trail 20: Mister Sark was sayin’ I oughta bounce you an’ give the job to Jake.
[US]Lait & Mortimer USA Confidential 188: Many Los Angeles cops quit or were bounced from the force.
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Men from the Boys (1967) 50: Didn’t I read about you being bounced from the force?
[US]‘Lou Rand’ Gay Detective (2003) 60: Several hundred federal employees have been loudly bounced in Washington lately.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 111: He got bounced off the force six years ago.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 150: One complaint too many got Lunceford bounced in June 1950.
[US](con. 1986) G. Pelecanos Sweet Forever 66: You came up positive on a [drug] test, it could get you bounced right off the force.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 16: They bounced me, bad attitude.

9. (US) to reject, esp. of a proposal of marriage.

[US]O. Thanet Stories Western Town 213: You don’t suppose it would be any use to offer Esther a cool hundred thousand to promise to bounce this young fellow? [DA].
[NZ]G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 204: The blond has bounced him.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 25 Oct. Proud Highway (1997) 406: I’ll send your pal [...] a ripping segment of my Rum Diary – but only after Playboy has bounced it.
[UK]Wodehouse Much Obliged, Jeeves 84: England is strewn with ex-fiances whom she bounced.

10. (US black/teen) to leave.

[US]J.C. Stewart Elopement i: simon: You have heard the verdict of the court; there is no appeal. (Points to door) Bounce! frederick: But, Simon, suppose I should refuse to bounce, as you term it.
[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 91: Comes D-Day [i.e. release], I bounce. Get out of here.
[US]Noreaga ‘Cocaine Business’ [lyrics] I had to bounce real quick, get up off da ave / And yo motherfucker that’s what I did.
[US] A. Mansbach ‘Crown Heist’ Brooklyn Noir 124: Son of a bitch filled a trash-bag, duct-taped me up, and bounced.
[US]Simon & Burns ‘Transitions’ Wire ser. 5 ep. 4 [TV script] Have we got a business? If not I’m-a gonna bounce.
[UK]J. Cornish Attack the Block [film script] 36: DENNIS Let’s bounce bruv... BIGGZ I’m gone fam...
[US]J. Díaz This Is How You Lose Her 32: Then the old dude bounced, no one knew where.

11. (US campus) to be sent down from college, to be sent out of class.

[US] E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 24: bounce, v. t. To send peremptorily from the class-room for a breach of discipline.
[US]O. Johnson Varmint 290: ‘I say, Slops, what would they do if they caught us?’ ‘Bounce us.’.
[US] Gene Kardos & His Orchestra [lyrics] Who got bounced at Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Brown? / Freddy the Freshman, the freshest kid in town!

12. (US) to punch.

[US]H.C. Witwer Smile A Minute 15: I wanted to bounce one off his chin.
[US]H.C. Witwer No Base Like Home 29: I certainly got a terrible shock when Ike didn’t bounce that big tramp Wilson for bawlin’ him out.
[US]S. Kingsley Dead End Act III: Get away from here. I’ll bounce one off your head!
[US](con. 1930s) Durocher & Linn Nice Guys Finish Last 90: The next guy that bunts on me [...] I’m going to bounce one off his noggin.

13. (Aus.) to move someone forcibly.

[UK]C. Roberts Adrift in America 128: Here I jumped another train, and got ‘bounced’ at Bernalillo.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 July 14/1: Sodden ’n’ sorry ’n’ boomin’ in th’ turret I wuz bounced to the booby hatch.
[UK]G. Malkani Londonstani (2007) 14: She a dirrty ho an I’d bounce her ass out ma car.

14. (US, also bounce off) to kill.

[UK]Hall & Niles One Man’s War (1929) 183: Every time one of our boys is bounced off, she writes off from five to twenty thousand francs.
[US]H.V. O’Brien diary 1 Apr. Wine, Women and War (1926) 55: ‘Y’ Sec’y bounced. Had it coming — no sense.
[US](con. early 1930s) C. McKay Harlem Glory (1990) 27: When Ned was bounced off, I said: this money is my God, now.
[US]T. Thursday ‘The Big Squawk’ Smashing Detective Mag. 15 Apr. [Internet] A high-flyer named Blinky Dinky — known to police as Roscoe Timms — was bounced off with a .38.

15. (US) to attack, esp. from an ambush.

[US]H.C. Witwer Classics in Sl. 22–3: I swang around on this dumb-bell prepared to see would he bounce, when the girl sized up the situation at the glance and prevented blood-shed by givin’ him the air.

16. (also bounce around) to beat up.

[US]H.C. Witwer Kid Scanlon 124: I gotta train for this guy, or he’s liable to bounce me.
[US]M. Rand ‘Clip-Joint Chisellers’ in Ten Story Gang Aug. [Internet] We’re going to bounce Shiv and his punks and apaches around!
[US]R. Chandler High Window 41: If he don’t like you, he has guys around that can bounce you.
[US]M. Puzo Godfather 242: He bragged [...] about how he bounced his wife around when she got snotty.
[US](con. 1990s) in J. Miller One of the Guys 131: ‘You either bounce or get bounced’.

17. (UK Und.) to assault, using a piece of lead concealed in a sock.

[UK]V. Davis Gentlemen of the Broad Arrows 129: ‘Bouncing’ means delivering a blow on an enemy’s neck with a piece of lead concealed in a sock.

18. (US) to treat, to pay for, to ply with drink.

[US] ‘Hotel Sl.’ in AS XIV:3 Oct. 239/2: to bounce To pay a bill; to ask for payment.
[US]M. Blosser ‘Freckles’ 18 Oct. [synd. comic strip] Knowin’ you gals have to bounce for this [soft drink] sure improves the flavor! [W&F].
[US]E. Droge Patrolman 165: We would go ‘bouncing’ many a night until our stomachs burst.

19. (US teen/Und.) to move, to go, to get expelled.

[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Feature Snatch!’ Dan Turner - Hollywood Detective Feb. [Internet] [I] bounced to the pavement to see if there was anything I could do.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 32/2: Bounce. 1. To go; to hurry.
[US]G. Metalious Peyton Place (1959) 210: I got bounced, Dad.
[US]Springfield Union-News (Mass.) 9 Sept. C6/5–6: bounce —To go out somewhere.
[UK]Jin ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ [lyrics] She’s got her bags packed, she’s ready to bounce.
[UK]A. Wheatle Crongton Knights 6: ‘They’re moving on [...] I can hear them bouncing down the stairs’.

20. to work as a strong-arm man in a bar etc.

[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 249: The big one at the wheel used to bounce at Mario’s.
[UK]F. Taylor Auf Wiedersehen Pet Two 136: The place rather put me in mind of some punk club I bounced at for a couple of days.
[UK](con. 1980s) N. ‘Razor’ Smith A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 277: I was doing pretty well out of my semi-legitimate work, bouncing and deejaying.

21. (US) as bounce for, to agree, to hand over without payment.

[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 82: Francis had only planned to try to get them to bounce for a handful of violets, but when he saw how delighted they were with him, he promoted the soft multicolored carnations. [Ibid.] 92: Easy often popped for two extra packs, and knowing Calvin’s drinking problem was reaching an acute stage, bounced for a fifth of Johnnie Walker Black Label once a week.

22. (US police) to arrest and interrogate; to pressurize.

[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 54: I’ll want to bounce this Nadine kid, see what she has to say. [Ibid.] 92: Wolfie, you gonna bounce every nigger in town? Your attitude sucks.
[UK]Unknown T ‘Mad about Bars’ [lyrics] Your boy got yakked then bounced, twice.

In compounds

In phrases

bounce around (v.)

see sense 16 above.

bounce off (v.)

1. see sense 8 above.

2. see sense 14 above.

bounce out (v.)

see sense 6 above.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

bounce in (v.)

(US) to appear in an aggressive manner.

[US]R. Chandler High Window 99: I thought Passmore might tell me something about him [...] that he wouldn’t be likely to tell me if he knew the cops were going to bounce in on him in a brief space of time.
bounce refrigerators (v.)

(US campus) to have sexual intercourse.

[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 51: Slang provides numerous verbs for ‘to engage in sexual intercourse’. Among those recently in use on college campuses are bounce refrigerators, bump uglies, do the naked pretzel, get paid, knock boots, scrog, and scrump.
bounce the ball (v.)

1. (Aus.) to assert oneself.

[Aus]W.H. Downing Digger Dialects 13: bounce the ball — To assert oneself.
[Aus](con. WWI) A.G. Pretty Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: bounce the ball. To assert oneself.

2. (N.Z.) to assess public opinion [from the habit of rugby players testing the bounce of a ball prior to drop-kicking it off].

[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 19/2: bounce the ball political test of public opinion; eg ‘D’ya think Douglas is bouncing the ball again with all these rumours of a GST rise?’.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].
how’s it bouncing?

(US) a general phr. of greeting.

[US]R. Campbell Sweet La-La Land (1999) 216: ‘How’s it bouncin’?’ he asked the two kids bopping around.